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heating up

Spotify doesn't seem to be fazed by Apple Music's quick growth

After reports that Apple Music now has ten million subscribers, Spotify says the second half of 2015 saw its “fastest subscriber growth ever”.

MUSIC STREAMING SERVICE Spotify says the second half of 2015 was its best period for growth ever.

After news that Apple has ten million Apple Music subscribers broke, we reached out to Spotify for comment.

While it wouldn’t talk directly about Apple, or even where its subscriber numbers are now, Spotify’s head of communications Jonathan Prince told us, “The second half of 2015 was our fastest subscriber growth ever”.

The last time Spotify announced numbers was in June of 2015. At that time it had 20 million subscribers, up from ten million a year prior.

If Spotify’s growth was faster than ever in the second half of 2015, then it added more than five million new users over the last six months of the year. If we had to guess, we’d say Spotify had 25-30 million subscribers at the end of 2015.

So, for now, Spotify has a much bigger lead than Apple. But, Apple has an advantage being the default music app that ships with every single iPhone. That will continue to drive subscriber growth, posing a challenge for Spotify.

One thing working to Spotify’s advantage: its app is critically acclaimed. Apple’s music app has been dismissed by critics.

But, even that may not matter. Google Maps is a better product than Apple Maps, but Apple Maps is more popular with iPhone users. According to Apple, iPhone owners use Apple Maps three times as much as “ its next leading competitor,” which is Google Maps.

The fact that Apple got to a third of Spotify’s paid user base in just six months with a subjectively inferior product has to be worrisome for Spotify, and its investors who last valued the company at $8.5 billion.

On the flip side: Apple announced early on that it had 11 million people trial Apple Music. And now it only has ten million paying users. So, it’s not winning over everyone that tries Apple Music.

Furthermore, Apple says it has over 800 million credit cards on file. That’s a rough proxy for how many people have signed up for iTunes or the App Store. At ten million paying Apple Music subscribers, Apple has only converted 1.25% of its potential audience to subscribers.

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